Teacher Guide. English Examining Film. Teacher Guide. Series overview. Curriculum links. Educational approach

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2 Series overview Learners enjoy watching films, but are often intimidated by having to analyse them as a genre of literature. This series aims to introduce learners to films as texts. We cover basic film making techniques and explain how these techniques help to create meaning. This series of video lessons has an advantage over textbooks or notes, as learners can see the techniques being demonstrated with examples, rather than simply reading explanations. Curriculum links The lessons in this series link to the following Learning Outcomes and Assessment Standards of the National Curriculum Statement: Learning Outcome 2: Reading and Viewing recognise the use of visual, audio and audio-visual techniques such as the use of colour, dialogue, music, sound, lighting, editing, framing, styles of shot, camera techniques, foregrounding and backgrounding E Educational approach In this series of lessons we show a range of clips taken from short films produced for the New Directions series in order to illustrate filmmaking techniques. This M-Net initiative encourages promising young filmmakers to write, produce, direct, film and edit short films. Showing clips of films enables learners to see camera angles, shots and editing techniques being used, in a way that they could not if they were studying film from a textbook. The series also introduces learners to career possibilities within the film industry and shows interviews with various professional filmmakers. In addition to illustrating a range of filmmaking techniques, these lessons discuss how these techniques have been used to create mood and atmosphere, or introduce us to characters. These discussions will help learners to become familiar with the terminology, and comfortable using it to discuss films. Once your learners are familiar with basic visual literacy, we would encourage you to show your learners our next series, called Film Study Example, in which two short films are analysed in detail. In the case of this series of lessons, learners can also apply the techniques for studying a film that they have learnt about in this lesson to studying any film. Also, many of the camera shots and angles which we cover in this lesson would also apply to photographs such as those used in advertisements and magazines, and thus they develop general visual literacy skills.

3 Series at a glance Lesson title Lesson 1 Making a film Lesson 2 Dialogue and Soundtrack Lesson 3 Camera Shots Lesson 4 More Camera Shots Lesson 5 Camera Angles Lesson 6 Camera Movements Lesson 7 Focus and Lighting Lesson 8 Editing a film Lesson Outcomes By the end of this lesson learners should be able to: name and describe the roles of the people involved in creating a film describe the filmmaking process define soundtrack comment on the soundtrack of a film and the effect created by the use of the different sound techniques identify and name different shots that are used in film comment on the effect that these shots create identify and name different shots that are used in film comment on the effect that these shots create identify and name the different camera angles comment on the effects that these camera angles create identify different movements that are made by a camera comment on the effects of these movements name and describe various types of lighting and focus comment on the effects that these have define and explain a range of editing techniques comment on some of the effects that these techniques create 3

4 G Lesson framework and teaching guidelines Lesson 1: Making a film In this lesson, we cover the process of making a film and we learn about the people involved in film making. Various professional film makers, including a director and script writer, are interviewed. This will expose learners to the range of occupations that are available in the film and television industry. To relate these lessons to the film you are studying, you may want learners to examine the credit roll to see how many people were involved in creating your set film, and what their roles were. The task for this lesson requires learners to make a list of people involved in filmmaking and a brief description of the roles they play. This list will be a useful summary for learners when you study a film in class. Lesson 2: Dialogue and Soundtrack In this lesson we discuss the different types of dialogue you get in a film and the various components of the soundtrack. To extend and reinforce this lesson, you may want to get learners to create their own radio advertisement that contains examples of sound effects, music, voiceovers and dialogue. This task requires learners to examine the soundtrack of a film and comment on the effects created by sound. You may want to do this as a class activity using a clip from a thriller or horror film that uses a range of sound effects and music. Lesson 3: Camera Shots, Lesson 4: More Camera Shots and Lesson 5: Camera Angles In these lessons definitions and examples of different camera shots and angles are given, and we discuss the effects that these have created. The same shots and angles mentioned in these lessons are also used in photography. As an activity, encourage your learners to find examples of different types of shots and camera angles used in photographs in magazines, advertisements and the newspaper. These can be stuck on paper and displayed on your classroom walls as re-enforcement of the terminology. Learners can also explain to their peers why they think different shots and angles were used in each case. 3 and 4 To complete these tasks learners need to watch and comment on the camera shots used in television programmes. You might want to record clips from television programmes or advertisements to enable your learners to complete these activities in class. 5 The task for this lesson involves finding or drawing pictures that illustrate camera angles. These illustrations can be stuck on paper and displayed on your classroom walls as re-enforcement of the terminology. Learners can also explain to their peers why they think different shots and angles were used in each case. Lesson 6: Camera Movements and Lesson 7: Focus and Lighting In the lessons, the various filmmaking techniques are explained and some examples are given, however it would be useful for learners to see more examples and to practise commenting on how the effects that have been used help to create meaning. To provide opportunities to discuss film techniques, record extracts of films to show to learners. This will enable them to see how different lighting, for example, is used in thriller or horror films compared to comedies. 6 and 7 The tasks for these lessons require learners to describe and comment on the camera movements and focus and lighting used in film clips and advertisements. If learners do not have access to television at home, you will need to record examples to show them in class. This may be worth doing anyway, as it will enrich learning and make a class discussion possible. 4

5 Lesson 8: Editing a Film In this lesson we discuss and show examples of editing techniques such as montages, cuts and dissolves. To reinforce this vocabulary you could ask learners to design a story board describing how they would shoot and edit a scene from a film. This task gives learners an opportunity to practise identifying and describing editing techniques using a soap opera or sitcom that they are familiar with. Completing this exercise will make them more aware of the filmmaking techniques used when they watch television. 5

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